Defenders drive-by review

Sep. 21st, 2017 07:22 pm
sabotabby: tulip pointing a gun (preacher)
[personal profile] sabotabby
On a more trivial note (yes, yes, the world is ending, and I'm blogging about telly), I really enjoyed hate-watching Defenders. Which is to say that it was nearly all shit except for the scene where Luke Cage teaches Iron Fist about white privilege. I mean, I can't believe I wasted like 8 hours of my life but in the same way, it made me feel like a better writer because I didn't write it.

spoilers )

Mmmmmm coffee scented candle love

Sep. 21st, 2017 09:57 am
christina_maria: (Coffee and a Book)
[personal profile] christina_maria
 Gah!! This candle smells soooo yummy.😍😍 I love it! I haven’t even lit it yet, and it smells amazing.

Of course… that it smells so yum means they’ve totally sold out for now at Bath & Body Works online shop.
 
I also have one now called ‘Hot Cocoa and Cream’ that smells yummy as well, but in a baked brownie way almost. It too is sold out now.  harumph.
 
 
So there will be no stocking up on them for this lady, dang it. ☕ I hope they at least restock a few times before it gets discontinued.  I would totally buy a couple more to save for later.
Honestly, I wish they’d stop discontinuing the scents I love. *lol*
 
When they occasionally do bring back a discontinued one I find it never really smells quite the same though. I’m not sure if it’s a change in ingredients, or in the amount of scent they use the second time round when bringing a scent back. Never quite the same candle though.
 
 
I do still have their yummy Italy Espresso Cafe candle (that came out a year or so back).
It had sold out and then got discontinued (naturally) … and so, even though I love how yummy it smells, I use it very sparingly so I can have it longer.
 
 
I tell you what though.
It’ll be a sad candle day when I finally use up the Italy Espresso candle, but at least I have the Coffee one and Cocoa one to take it’s place now.
 
 
It smells so good.

HPMOR chapter 87

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:44 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
[personal profile] darkoshi
Today's outburst of reading laughter was brought to me by this passage:

"That is not okay! You can’t do science with two people at once!"
"Er—"
"I mean, you can’t do science with two different people and not tell them about each other!"

http://www.hpmor.com/

(which of course won't make much sense unless you've read the 86 chapters before that part.)

And then I reflected that I could relate a lot more to that statement taken literally, than to that for which it might be interpreted as a metaphor.

My aunt died this morning...

Sep. 20th, 2017 04:42 pm
freckleface: A cardinal in wintertime (Default)
[personal profile] freckleface
 My Aunt Catherine died early today. I am having a pretty bad time dealing with it. She was only 60. I hope that she finds solace with Jesus... I might write in my DJ about her and the impact she had on me.

Dinner was BBQ porkchops, cheesy cauliflower and potato salad. Anyways, I named my computer after a good staff friend named Erin and also for Aunt Catherine <3

Hopefully Rosanna will make funeral details with either the Taylor Funeral home or at Roadhouse and Rose, our local. TFH is further along Davis.



More Disaster Relief Links

Sep. 21st, 2017 07:38 am
wendelah1: words: Always be a little kinder than necessary (Always be a little kinder than necessary)
[personal profile] wendelah1
Because the hits just keep coming. Give what you can, if you can.

Fundraiser by St. John's Rescue: St. John Victims of Hurricane Irma. This is an island-based charity and rescue group.

Harvey HELP is a fundraiser started by educators for their college students who've affected by Hurricane Harvey in order to provide grants to help keep them in school. It hasn't attracted much attention, sadly.

21 US Virgin Island's Relief Fund is the fundraiser organized by former San Antonio Spurs star, Tim Duncan.

Hurricane Irma and Maria Relief for the Caribbean:

Catholic Charities USA

Global Giving

Save the Children

UNICEF.

Habitat for Humanity of Puerto Rico was mentioned in an interview on MSNBC by a government official, name unremembered.

This made me remember that Habitat for Humanity helps low income people build houses all over the world, including the USA.

Habit for Humanity of Florida. This site has info for victims, too.

Huston Habitat for Humanity.

From Fortune.com, here is a long list of places to donate for Mexico.
Here’s How You Can Help Mexico Earthquake Victims. It includes the usual suspects as well as some local organizations.

And since I'm an Episcopalian and a "socialist," here is a link for Episcopal Relief and Development.

More on the iOS 11 update

Sep. 20th, 2017 06:26 am
thewayne: (Default)
[personal profile] thewayne
I learned last night that apparently my iPad can take the update, so apparently it is an iPad Mini 2. So that's cool. And I may go ahead and risk upgrading my phone. I'm pushing my departure back to Thursday from Wednesday: I didn't get everything done that I needed to do, including reviewing five long boxes of comics in case there's anything that I want to keep (possible but not very likely), and the difficulty of loading my car since I recovered four banker boxes of comics from my storage unit yesterday afternoon. I'm not sure if it's all of my comics, I know there's three or more long boxes at my parent's that I'll deal with when I get there, but that'll be a vast bulk of them and a lot of space recovered.

On top of that, only 3 hours of sleep last night. AND one of the nose pads fell out of my reading glasses. Found the nose pad, fortunately I have a spare screw from a previous broken set of reading glasses.

I forgot to mention a new feature of iOS 11 that should be interesting: you have a Do Not Disturb mode for driving: anyone texting you receives an autoreply saying that you're driving and will get back to them later. I like that. Definitely appealing when you're about to set out on a 500 mile drive. I'm doing a different outbound route that a friend says is much more picturesque, so we'll see. It's also rather cellular dead, which causes me a slight amount of apprehension. Just need to fuel up and hit the restroom before hitting that 200 mile stretch.
thewayne: (Default)
[personal profile] thewayne
Maybe that was midnight Cupertino time, I don't know. Regardless, both of our iPads are too old, as is my wife's iPhone 4S. That leaves my iPhone 6 as the only device that can run it, and since I'm about to head for Phoenix and I won't have my iMac with me for a system restore should something glitch, I think I'll hold off a bit. For that matter, the new MacOS is supposed to drop in a couple of days, and I won't be upgrading to that until I get back from Phoenix, so I'll probably just do a device upgrade frenzy when I get back.

Some of the features in iOS 11 are pretty cool. I like the 'press the power key 5 times to disable the fingerprint reader', definitely cool. It doesn't materially affect me as I don't use the fingerprint reader to unlock my phone, but that's OK. And they've apparently made the reverse video mode more intelligent for not reversing images, which is good. I really wish they had an override for web pages and such so you could force white letters on black background, for example. That's what I love about Ars Technica and hate about most others, I find white on black to be much easier on my eyes.

But I DO NOT like updating my phone apps over WiFi (as I wrote about last week), I thought loading apps through iTunes was easy and one-stop syncing. They've just increased the hassle and it's likely to increase the time between me doing updates from daily to weekly or monthly or whenever. Which increases potential security vulnerabilities, which ticks me off. iTunes should be a framework that supports plug-ins, then all they'd have to do is write a plug-in that reads the app store for just iPhone/iPad/Watch apps, and re-casts them in to the iTunes framework. It's still just one app store, it just looks like two.

Twits.

GET OFF MY LAWN! Kids these days.

(In a totally unrelated incident, I got "Sir'd" last week! I was sitting in a barber shop waiting for my guy to finish with his current client, and the other guys started talking about horror movies. I'm not a big horror movie fan, so I didn't participate until later. Now, this barber shop is an actual barber shop, not a hair salon, run by 30-somethings with tattoos up to their necks and possibly beyond, smoking their e-cigs and playing that reissued Nintendo Classic that came out last year when they're slow. I don't really care. So what if they're young. I piped up about some movie, I don't remember what, throwing in my $0.002 worth, and this one barber later comes over and apologizes, saying that he didn't know that he had an older gentleman in the shop and they wouldn't have been talking like that if they'd known! Yes, dude, I'm 55, and some day you'll be there, too, if you're lucky. Maybe I'm moving towards the far side of middle-age, but trust me, though I am growing older I definitely have not remotely grown up. In my headspace I'm still a 30-something, though my body constantly reminds me that I am not. I laughed at him, reassured him that I was not offended, then told them a pretty grizzly story about a quietly spectacular suicide that happened while I was working for the police department. The crime lab was in the basement as was computer services, and the car that this guy offed himself in was so pungent that finally I told my boss that I'm taking off for the day. The fire department later used that car as burn practice.

I'll go in to no further details, unless people want it, in which case I'll put it in a new post under a cut.)

Key Lime Marmalade and Pomegranates

Sep. 19th, 2017 07:06 pm
robby: (Default)
[personal profile] robby
 I'm almost out of my own lemon marmalade, and this year's lemon crop is not ripe, so I bought 4 lbs of key limes and made about 3 quarts of marmalade to tide me over. The color is odd, but I think it will taste good. I've also been picking and eating pomegranates from a neighbor's tree. They seem like an unusual fruit, but now I've acquired a taste for them.

DON'T GIVE UP

Sep. 20th, 2017 10:27 am
wendelah1: quote: Ezra 10:4 (resistance)
[personal profile] wendelah1
There is so much going on in the news but we can't allow ourselves to forget that the Republican-controlled Senate is poised to take healthcare away from tens of millions of Americans.

Sign up, make calls, attend protests if you are able. Post the INDIVISIBLE website on Facebook. If you live in one of the key states, beg your friends and family to call up their Senators. Make a contribution to INDIVISIBLE or to the resistance group of your choice. DON'T GIVE UP.

Calls to Kill Trumpcare.

We can't let the Senate get away with this. Healthcare represents one sixth of the U.S. economy. If they do this terrible thing, it will only embolden them. They'll keep on doing it, crafting their incoherent, evil legislation in secret, with the end goal being to transfer more and more money into the hands of their donor class: the big multinational corporations--because thanks to our Supreme Court, corporations are people too--and the mega-wealthy one percenters. We must understand this: the Republicans in Congress won't stop until ordinary Americans are completely at the mercy of the ruling class.

We do not live in a democracy. I know, it's hard to accept. It goes against everything I was taught, everything I want to believe about my country. But the very fact that the Republicans in Congress are going ahead with their nefarious plans despite knowing full well that the overwhelming majority of Americans want the Affordable Care Act fixed, not repealed, confirms that. These senators want to serve their rich masters, not their constituents, and if we don't stop them somehow, they will.

And if wanting my fellow Americans to have decent healthcare makes me a socialist, Senator Lindsey Graham, well, fine then. I'M A SOCIALIST.

Please note that under Senator Graham's bill, his state will actually gain funding. Could this plan be more cynical, more devious, or more venal?

~/~/~

I know I'm sounding like a broken record (wow, there's a metaphor about to lose its relevance) but September is National Disaster Preparedness Month for a reason. I beg of you--if you don't have your supplies laid in and your plan in place, it is never too soon--or too late--to start working on it.

If it seems like I'm obsessed with disaster planning, well, you're right. I am. Maybe it's because unlike hurricanes, which give people time to panic, sit in lines at the gas station, and debate whether or not to evacuate, California's earthquakes give us no warning. Waiting for the storm of the century to hit makes people feel helpless because by the time they get home from work, the bottled water is gone from the grocery shelves, and so are the flashlights, and the kind of baby formula that doesn't need refrigeration.

Earthquakes. Just. Happen. We never know when or where the next one will hit. People who live in earthquake country should all be making preparations well in advance. If we don't, we're taking a huge risk. (And dammit I hate risk.) And we're due, FUCK IT, we're overdue for a bad one in California. Or two. Look at what just happened in Mexico: two catastrophic quakes in two weeks! Hundreds of dead, dozens of collapsed buildings, including two schools full of children, thousands upon thousands of homes lying in rubble.

The Mexico City quake struck on the 32th anniversary of the 1985 quake that destroyed the city, mere hours after their yearly commemorative earthquake drill. I have no words.

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico just took a direct hit from Hurricane Maria.

~/~/~

It's overwhelming, I know it is. But we have to keep making those calls.
thewayne: (Default)
[personal profile] thewayne
Apparently. In March they brought in the company that is investigating the May-July breech. These seem to be the same intruders.

From Slashdot:
Equifax Suffered a Hack Almost Five Months Earlier Than the Date It Disclosed (bloomberg.com)
Posted by BeauHD on Monday September 18, 2017 @05:20PM from the earlier-than-expected dept.
Bloomberg is reporting that Equifax, the credit reporting company that recently reported a cybersecurity incident impacting roughly 143 million U.S. consumers, learned about a breach of its computer systems in March -- almost five months before the date it has publicly disclosed. The company said the March breach was unrelated to the recent hack involving millions of U.S. consumers, but one of the people familiar with the situation said the breaches involve the same intruders. From the report:

Equifax hired the security firm Mandiant on both occasions and may have believed it had the initial breach under control, only to have to bring the investigators back when it detected suspicious activity again on July 29, two of the people said. Equifax's hiring of Mandiant the first time was unrelated to the July 29 incident, the company spokesperson said. The revelation of a March breach will complicate the company's efforts to explain a series of unusual stock sales by Equifax executives. If it's shown that those executives did so with the knowledge that either or both breaches could damage the company, they could be vulnerable to charges of insider trading. The U.S. Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into the stock sales, according to people familiar with the probe.

In early March, they said, Equifax began notifying a small number of outsiders and banking customers that it had suffered a breach and was bringing in a security firm to help investigate. The company's outside counsel, Atlanta-based law firm King & Spalding, first engaged Mandiant at about that time. While it's not clear how long the Mandiant and Equifax security teams conducted that probe, one person said there are indications it began to wrap up in May. Equifax has yet to disclose that March breach to the public.


https://it.slashdot.org/story/17/09/18/230234/equifax-suffered-a-hack-almost-five-months-earlier-than-the-date-it-disclosed

The Bloomberg original story has auto-start videos.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-18/equifax-is-said-to-suffer-a-hack-earlier-than-the-date-disclosed

Yeah. I'm not panicked at all.

Sep. 19th, 2017 07:54 am
wendelah1: Letter H is for Holy Crap (H is for Holy Crap)
[personal profile] wendelah1
From USA TODAY: UNITED NATIONS – In a bracing speech to the United Nations, President Trump threatened Tuesday to "destroy" North Korea if it does not give up its nuclear weapons program.

Is he trying to start a war? For real?

A "bracing speech"? WTF, USA TODAY.

We cannot let ourselves get derailed by the shitstorm the Trump administration calls their foreign policy. We still have to make those phone calls to stop Trumpcare.

Garden Update

Sep. 18th, 2017 07:03 pm
robby: (Default)
[personal profile] robby
 My peppers are finally flowering. I got a late start with them, in part because I forget to sprout the seeds with additional heat. I'm harvesting tomatoes, beans and okra.The butternut squashisdoing well, but I won't harvest squash until November or December.

We Won't Betrumped Again

Sep. 19th, 2017 07:42 am
wendelah1: (Repeal and Replace)
[personal profile] wendelah1
INDIVISIBLE just unveiled a new calling tool for folks in Blue States who want to help stop Trumpcare: Calls to Kill TrumpCare. We can't call our Senators--well, we can but mine are both Democrats and they are not the problem here. But we can make calls to our counterparts in key Red States and ask them to call their Senators.

How California — yes, California — could make a Trump reelection more difficult. YES!

Atlas Obscura: Found: 30 Lost English Words That May Deserve a Comeback.

Well, well, well. I think "betrump" deserves a comeback. Betrump: To deceive, cheat; to elude, slip from. Examples: I think our entire country is getting betrumped on a daily basis. Don't let yourselves get betrumped! Curses! Betrumped again! See what I mean? So useful. So accurate.

During Irma’s Power Outages, Some Houses Kept The Lights On With Solar And Batteries. Of course, if the roof has blown off or the living room has been flooded, having solar power doesn't mean all that much. Also, we're paying to help folks rebuild in the same flood zones over and over again. Maybe that needs to change?

USA TODAY: Dear Texas, how many times do we have to rebuild the same house? (You're next Florida). It's a reasonable question, imho.

Two years before NFIP was created, the 1966 Presidential Task Force on Federal Flood Control Policy warned that a badly run program 'could exacerbate the whole problem of flood losses. For the federal government to subsidize low premium disaster insurance ... would be to invite economic waste of great magnitude.' That sage advice was ignored.

The Atlantic: Has Climate Change Intensified 2017’s Western Wildfires? Long story, short: Yes. It has.

VOX: The brilliant, infuriating, boring, hypnotic Ken Burns documentary on The Vietnam War. The documentarian’s latest miniseries for PBS is a staggering achievement — and maybe his best work. I watched the first episode. It was good. I learned new things about Vietnam and its history. We keep making the same mistakes, over and over again. This has to stop.

BOOK REVIEW — Dalí by E. M. Hamill

Sep. 18th, 2017 09:34 am
ahunter3: (Default)
[personal profile] ahunter3
Dalí is a person of the changeling sex, living in a future world within the domain of the Sol Fed government. Dalí is an ambassador for Sol Fed.

A changeling is someone whose body is neither inherently female nor male but can be either of those, changing structurally according to need and circumstance. Changelings are empathic, picking up on the emotions of people around them, and tend to morph their bodies to match desires and expectations, although they can also shift their shapes on their own whim.

Changelings are a minority and a fairly recent phenomenon, and are targets of hate crimes in this future world. Many people condemn them as unnatural freaks. Dalí's life has been upended by such violence: Dalí's two spouses, Gresh and Rasida, were murdered, and Dalí is still ripped up by it, scarcely caring whether they lives or dies.

Yes, two spouses. Dalí is poly. Polyamorous marriages are common in this future world. But they don't usually involve changelings and some folks are so creeped out by the idea of changelings marrying and consorting with normal folks that the prospect brings them to violence.

Dalí gets recruited to participate in undercover work to investigate these hate crimes. They ends up in jeopardy, a prisoner of a cosmic black market trader where, along with other captured changelings they is kept in a luxurious suite but faces the prospect of being sold as a sex slave.

Sharing those quarters are two other changelings, Dru and Kai. They have no idea that Dalí is working undercover and has allies who are working to spring them.

Holding the keys to their comfortable cage is Lord Rhix, he who rules this black-market domain. Rhix is the amoral vicious gangster feared by the traders and slavers and other denizens of the market, or so it initially seems, but when we get a closer look we discover a barbarian of principle, an evil lord whose stomach turns at some of the techniques of his predecessors. An enlightened hoodlum, he.

The person whose actions most directly got Dalí into this situation is Jon Batterson, son of the Sol Fed president and very much a spoiled powerful privileged wealthy villain, athletically powerful and arrogant. He is one of the bigoted haters and we learn pretty early that he's immersed in the kidnapping and selling of changelings, a convenient way to rid the Sol Fed system of unnatural freaks while profiting economically from their disposal.

Jon Batterson has a battered wife, or, rather, ex-wife. Tella Sharp escaped him and coincidentally happens to be the provider of nursing care when Dalí is recovering from Batterson's assault on her in the space station corridors. Tella finds Dalí enticing and returns for some steamy aftercare in Dalí's quarters.


DALÍ is a delightful gender fantasy. How totally fine, to be able to match one's body to one's gender of the moment, including a convenient neuter when you feel like it!

Yes, it does manage to echo the notion--held strongly by cisgender bigots and even loosely by some transgender folks (truscum)--that to properly be a given gender, your body must correspond. Being a changeling can be conceptualized as sex reassignment surgery on-the-fly, or, as Dalí's partner Rasida's journal article expressed it in the book, "A natural progression allowing transgenderism to correct itself".

But there's nothing in DALÍ that opposes ideas of gender variance that do not involve physical transitioning, and I just can't bring myself to be curmudgeonly enough to resent or criticize the formulation: it's just too damn deliciously cool. I don't have physical dysphoria and despite identifying as a gendered feminine I have never rejected my physical maleness, but if I could have a body that could speak either physical language? Hell yes, that would be more fun than being able to fly like Superman!

DALÍ avoids the pestersome problem of pronouns by using first person. "I walked down the corridor" instead of he, she, they, or some other formulation doing so. There are third party attributions of Dalí's gender--such as Brian, Jon Batterson's little brother down in the Rosetta Labyrinth referring to Dalí as "she"--but because they are third party designations of gender, we, the readers, may dissent.

There is hotness in this book. DALÍ gives us a sensuous and often horny changeling. I appreciated some of the departures from clichés that surround sexual shapeshifting characters in fantasy and science fiction, especially Tella Sharp directly lusting after Dalí as theirself, as opposed to seeking either a male or a female, and the scenes with Rhix in which Dalí is betwixt and between sexual morphologies and is manifesting with external tingly parts. That's seldom done: most tales featuring someone who can sexually shapeshift have the character bedding boys when shaped like a girl and doing girls when configured as a boy.

I was never very clear on the distinction the book attempts to make between "third gender" and "changeling". There are people who are described as "third gender"; and then "changeling" is either a subset of that or else a new and different (yet similar) thing. Tella Sharp, while examining and treating Dalí, says

"I studied third-gender anatomy, of course, but each person’s genitalia varies according to their dominant sex." Her fair complexion bloomed with rosy color as she discussed my genitals. "You don’t have one."


Seems to me that either a "third gender" person in this universe has physical anatomy that corresponds permanently to their "dominant sex", which differs from being cisgender only in the implication that they may also have a "non-dominant" sex (but we aren't told what a "non-dominant sex" actually is or what it does for a living); or else being "third gender" means one's physical anatomy is flexible and can change, in which case being "third" doesn't differ in any readily discernable way from being a changeling. As an atypical genderqueer person myself, far be it from me to cast aside or look askance at anyone else's gender identity just because I don't understand why the heck we need this additional category, but as a configuration within a work of fiction that doesn't explain it or utilize it more fully, I don't think it adds anything to the story.

Dru and Kai, the other two changelings in the story, don't change. Not because they can't, it just doesn't transpire that they ever do. Dru presents as female with a purseful of stereotypical femininity, while Kai is perennially male and manifests with textbook masculine traits throughout. I think it would have been more interesting to see Dalí interact with other changelings, but these are ersatz changelings, these two. They get gendered pronouns. Dru is all "she" and "her", and Kai is totally a "he" and "him" person throughout. Only Aja, a changeling who doesn't survive long enough to become conscious, is a "they".

Jon Batterson is a bit of a cardboard cutout, a bit too much unrelieved portrayal as stupid and dense, evil and deceitful; there's no individual and no allied group or contingent in the book which were ever in Batterson's personal orbit that he doesn't betray as soon as the opportunity presents.

The dynamic going on between Lord Rhis and Dalí is full-on neogothic: a brooding evil captor who turns out to be chock-full of ethical and moral concerns and is therefore worthy of the MC's love, and the MC can get through his emotional armor and cause him to love her too. I do love a well-delivered gothic romance and I liked the departure from conventional gothic trajectory too: the absence of any full reconciliation after he discovers Dalí's true identity as spy. Their departure scenes are more akin to heroic male opponents who express a grudging respect for their adversary. How appropriate! Well done.

DALÍ, by E. M. Hamill. NineStar Press.
E. M. Hamill

Echoed on Goodreads

————————

I am now echoed on DreamWidth, like many other LJ folks. My DW acct is here. Please friend/link me on DW if you are a DreamWidth user.

————————

Index of all Blog Posts
freckleface: A cardinal in wintertime (Default)
[personal profile] freckleface
Gaming is what I do, and so far it's taken over me, ^^ I am not dead yet. I just joined DJ where I first started blogging many moons ago. I guess you'd say that I am getting back to where I belong. IDK exactly why I think of the Beatles but I do whenever I hear someone say they are getting back to basics.. y'know?

Yes, so if you are on Deadjournal like I am... add me: v4mpirekitt3n. AND, I have 3 invite codes... so if anyone in my circle wants a Deadjournal ask me and you will receive a code! Sound groovy?

Right now, I'm going to go on my new fav pet site -- nope,  not elitist Neopets but Flight Rising! If you are on FR add me: albatrosswing.

Sam





Much of the same ol' same ol'

Sep. 17th, 2017 12:14 pm
christina_maria: (Default)
[personal profile] christina_maria
 Life has been doing it’s usual puttering along at it’s zoomie speed. Daily routines and everyday usuals have been the norm for a while.

I find that when days vastly resembled each other I forget to come here and write. To be fair, during the same ol’ same ol’ weeks it probably would seem like someone just went wacky and hit the re-post button over and over if I did. No one wants that.

So I will attempt to catch you all up in my daily ho-hums in this post….

Let’s see (I’ll just skip past the usual household chore rambles for this, shall I):

  • Oh! I can’t recall if I mentioned in older posts or not, but my car is totally paid off now (as of July 14th). So no more monthly car payments for us. Aaron’s car was paid off the year prior, so…  now we just need to figure out the best way to smush the mortgage with out lots of penalties …. smush smush
  • Aaron’s mom was supposed to be over for a two week visit at the beginning of September because she had time scheduled off at work, but caught a nasty flu and couldn’t make it. And so she’ll be over mid October for a weeks visit instead.
  • So far the deer are staying out of the fenced area I made. So I actually have a few tall Canna plants growing in there right now, as well as gladiolus and mini roses!! In a last ditch effort to get ‘something’ to grow a while back (when the fence bits first went up) I had scattered some left over tomato and pepper seeds any where/every where. One pepper seed seems to have germinated next to the big Canna, and has flowers on it. I am staggered. That, to me, is amazingly cool.
  • I seem to have killed off my poor iceland poppy plant. But I think the seeds from it have sprouted in a few spots, so maybe all is not lost?
  • This year has been pretty smokey and miserable outside due to all of the fires around the US and here, and so for once I can honestly say I am looking forward to the rainy days of Fall.

 

  • Inside the house I have been continuing the downsize of useless clutter.
  • It’s going well, although I’ve pretty much given up on the donation place I used to use. They have been a no-show at least four times (Probably more than that, but I am feeling generous). And so now I just post things to the local FB group when I want to get rid of it. More of a hassle, as things take several days (or more) to be gone, and not everyone who says they will show up does. But hey, it get’s the stuff gone sooner than that donation truck, so at this point I’ll take it.
  • We upgraded the TV in the bedroom to a 55″ one.  I’m the only one that really watches TV in the house, so no beaking about how TV’s shouldn’t be in the bedroom because blah blah blah please. Aaron’s not a big TV watching person, period.  We generally don’t watch TV when we are hanging out together, unless we have decided to watch a film, and so there is no intimacy issue there. =P
  • The old TV from our bedroom has been moved to the guestroom now, and the old guestroom TV will be donated some time soon.
  • I’ve also been rearranging most of the rooms in the house. Aaron’s office and the exercise room still need a bit of a reorganize. But the rabbits live down there with him, and we don’t want to really change their space just yet. So that will be left alone for the time being.
  • I’ve been taking various barely used shelves and stands, ones where the sole use seemed to be as a clutter catcher, and tried to find them a more useful spot in the house. If I couldn’t find a spot where they were more than a clutter catcher, then I posted them on the FB group to get rid of.  I also went through the damn clutter piles and got rid of what was just a waste of space.
  • I got a few small profile comfy chairs for the downstairs front room, moved around a couple of the larger comfy chairs so that there is seating in Aaron’s office, and one more place to sit in the upstairs livingroom now. It’s funny, we had lots of shelves/bookcases scattered about the house .. but very few places to actually sit and read. I don’t know what that was about, but it’s been remedied now.
  • I downsized my nail polish collection, and made some local ladies on FB very happy in the process. My collection is now half the size, which is still quite massive. I also went through all of the makeup and passed most of those on to them as well.
  • I’m winding down a bit more on the whole go crazy and decorate everything outside on holidays thing, too. We’re at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac, most of the neighbors before us don’t decorate, and so decorating to the nines is just too much for too few views. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’ll still do it. The people across the street do enjoy it. But I won’t be going as crazy as I would have if we still lived on a busier road.  I will be going through the boxes of that stuff and getting rid of what ever has not been used in years of holidays (I’m looking at you ‘skinnier me’ halloween costumes.. time to go bye bye.)

 

  • Bongo kitty is still reacting well to the pills that keep him alive. One and a half pills every day. So he may see another couple years through with us. Knock wood. He’s more of a cuddle bug these days. He will play with his toys for a bit, but it wears him out pretty fast, and so he doesn’t bother most times. As the weather changes his joints get a bit more creaky, and so there are some failed jump attempts here and there. We just lift him up to whatever chair he was trying for, and he happily nestles down for a nap.
  • Our lop rabbits have become slobs of sorts. And so they keep us on their toes more than a few times daily as they potty wherever they please and proceed to lay in it if we are not quick enough to catch it. Bunny baths are becoming a regular thing. Cocoa Banana is still a sweet gentleman dwarf bunny, and we have no such troubles with him.

 

  • Since moving here we’ve gotten at least six new families moving into the neighborhood. So far we’ve been lucky and they’ve been pretty nice people (even the bear ignorant ones are nice, they just are not used to living near wildlife yet is all). Just recently a house a few doors down just sold, but we have no idea who has purchased it yet. Fingers crossed it’s more good people.
  • Oh, The people who purchased the empty lot beside us have been visiting there and spending the day there every now and again. Trying to get a feel for the space as they plan their new home setup, I assume. They recently brought their camp trailer and set it up, and so we’re getting a mini preview of what it’ll be like with neighbors there. Still have lots of deer that go through there, even when the new neighbors are hanging out, and so at least for now that isn’t changing.

I can’t think of anything else at the moment to add, and so I best post this. I can always continue on page 2, as it were, if I think of more.

major_clanger: Clangers (Royal Mail stamp) (Default)
[personal profile] major_clanger
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (John Le Carré, 1963)
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (dir Martin Ritt, 1965)
A Legacy of Spies (John Le Carré, 2017)

‘Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, has retired to his family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany when a letter from his old Service summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London are to be scrutinised by a generation with no memory of the Cold War. Somebody must be made to pay for innocent blood once spilt in the name of the greater good.’

From that advance plot summary, I expected A Legacy of Spies to be a follow up to the events of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy or its immediate sequels. In fact, it turns out to be a quasi-sequel to The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Le Carré’s third novel but the one in which he broke out into mainstream success. I say ‘quasi-sequel’, because A Legacy of Spies revisits, and even to an extent retcons, the events of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, and indeed can to a substantial extent be seen as a prequel, setting up some of the important plot points and filling in some key events between that book at Le Carré’s first novel (and introduction of George Smiley), Call for the Dead.

I’d never actually read The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, although I’d long ago seen a plot summary that revealed the key twist. (So, by the way, does this review, hence the cut below.) I read A Legacy of Spies when it came out, saw that it referred back heavily to the events of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold so then read that, and then out of curiosity watched the 1965 film, which currently features on Netflix’s list.

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (book)

I won’t spend too much time on the original novel; if you’ve read it, you’ll know how good it is. If you haven’t – well, rather than have it spoiled, I suggest that you go and read it yourself. It’s short by modern standards, very readable, and although the underlying plot is complex (as much as I can say without spoilers) everything is clearly explained.

(Spoilers from here)

Discussion of crucial bits of plot )

A Legacy of Spies is highly recommended, although if you’ve not read The Spy Who Came in from the Cold I’d strongly suggest reading it beforehand. And once you’ve done so, look out the 1965 film, which stands up very well indeed.




Murder Murder & Manslaughter

Sep. 17th, 2017 09:24 am
sabotabby: (gaudeamus)
[personal profile] sabotabby
It's hard getting into new music when you're old.

There's various reasons, cultural and perhaps biological, that make it harder to passionately love bands that you hear in your 30s and 40s as much as bands that you encountered in your teens and 20s. I do try to listen to new bands—and support them financially—as much as I can, but I often find that even when I fall in love with a new-to-me band, half the time it turns out they they've been around for 30 years and I'd just never heard of them. I just don't bond with new artists as much as I'd like to.

So when there is a band that's new and hits all of my musical buttons, I get evangelical. I'm gonna do that for a bit. About a year and a half ago, I clicked on a semi-random link (someone complaining about a thing) and accidentally heard a single from a Sudbury band called Murder Murder who described themselves as "bloodgrass" and played nothing but murder ballads.


How do I describe this band beyond that they're a phenomenally talented bluegrass band with a morbid streak as deep as a 19th gold vein on your rival's stake? If your favourite Nick Cave & the Bad Seed albums are Murder Ballads and Kicking Against the Pricks, you think Deadwood was criminally underrated, and you find goth-hipster-cowboy a compelling aesthetic, you will dig them.

One of the things about them is that after hearing all their stuff, I knew that they would be fantastic live. Of course, the main problem is that, in the short time I've been obsessed with them, they have played everywhere but Toronto. They have in the past, but they mainly seem to do folk festivals in towns I've never heard of. I mean, they're big in Sudbury, but that is a bit far to go for a gig.

They finally announced a Toronto show, the launch party for their third album. By the way, their publicity is terrible. It took some actual digging for me to find out things like "when" and "where" and "is this a thing that is happening for sure?" It appeared to only be advertised on FB, with no advance tickets, and some initial uncertainty as to where the venue was. But! Found all that out, dragged my mother, who does not like country music at all but enjoyed this almost as much as I did, and at last got to see them live.

I was nearly as excited for the opening act, based on the description alone. Manslaughter are an all-female collective outlaw band. I would love to link you to their stuff, but this was only their second gig. You can add them on Facebook, though, which has links to all the members' other projects.


manslaughter



They did not disappoint. They're a bit like Neko Case except that there are 4-6 of them (depending on the song/show) and I am in love. Their best song is called "Murder Murder" and is completely adorable and I just hope they release an album soon so that I can play it for you all.

Murder Murder, as predicted, were phenomenal. Intense, rowdy, punk as fuck, and just a joy to listen to. Their new album, which I am currently listening to, is as excellent as their last two. Beyond the novelty concept (which, don't get me wrong, I adore), they are just really, really musically talented. You should check them out so that I do not obsess alone.

murder murder
Crappy cell pictures are a Sabs concert tradition.

Anyway here's their latest single: And have two more for the road, just because they're two of my favourites and they played both last night.



ETA: Why is formatting in DW such bullshit? Can I not just embed videos and move on with my life?

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